Dinners and Swedes

Source: "The Swedish Toolkit"

In Sweden

A dinner is not a means of getting to know people

But the result of an established relationship

This is one of the main inversion in the way people socialize in Scandinavia

While in many countries around the world

Friendships often start with "giving" and "receiving"

You invite someone for dinner

You have a good time together

The other person invites back a few weeks later

There is always someone owing the other

And this role switches back and forth

In Sweden

We do sport together

We work voluntarily in an organisation

We socialize in well-defined organised settings first

Then after a few weeks

Or a few years

We may have dinner together

Some even share the cost between everyone attending

Friendships in Sweden are equal

Scandinavians do not like to owe to anyone

And are not comfortable if they feel like they need to see someone again because they owe that person something


Read more about Swedes and the Swedish culture in "The Swedes" and "Working with Swedes" which present many of the unwritten social rules in Sweden

By Julien S. Bourrelle

Book a lecture on www.juliensbourrelle.com 

Watch him on TED